The NFPA states that cooking is the number one cause of home fires. During the holidays, cooking fires increase by a staggering 72%. According to their research, the leading cause stems from leaving the kitchen unattended. Staying alert in the kitchen and keeping the area clean will help reduce your risk of a holiday kitchen fire.
What Are the Chances of a Kitchen Fire During the Holidays?
If you’re not careful, the chances could be high. Cooking fires top the charts around the holiday season.
- Cooking equipment is the number one cause of house fires and fire-related injuries, resulting in 48% of home fires, 21% of home fire deaths and 45% of injuries.
- Clothing ignitions result in 15% of home cooking fire deaths.
- Unattended cooking equipment results in 32% of home cooking fires and nearly half of all fire-related deaths.
- Frying is the number one cooking fire hazard.
- Thanksgiving is the top day for cooking fires, following by Christmas Day and Christmas Eve.
Staying Safe Means Staying Alert
While certainly more common than other types of home fires, cooking fires are preventable. By understanding and addressing the common cooking fire hazards, you have an opportunity to reduce your risk.
- Remain alert and awake. If you’re tired or under the influence of alcohol, consider letting someone else cook.
- Stay in the kitchen while frying, grilling, or cooking anything.
- If you are baking or roasting, keep a timer handy.
- Clean up your cooking space and keep any flammable objects — oven mitts, wooden utensils, paper towels — away from the burner.
Take Extra Precautions When Cooking With Oil
Keep a close eye on anything you fry. If you notice wisps or smoke or oil odors, shut off the burner and safely remove the pan. Smoke is a sure sign that the oil is too hot and at risk of exploding.
- Heat your cooking oil slowly to the appropriate temperature.
- Gently add food to the pot or pan to reduce the risk of hot oil splatter.
- Cook with a lid near to the pan. If there is a grease or oil fire, slowly cover the pan with the lid and shut off the burner. Do not use water or a fire extinguisher. You need to smother a grease fire.
At the smallest sign of trouble, call the fire department. Then, call your local Restoration 1 for 24-hour fire damage restoration. We’ll send our very best within an hour of your call!
Besides cooking, holiday decorations are one of the top fire hazards during the holidays. Learn how to stay safe while decorating your home this year!